- US Dollar boosted by jobless numbers and strong corporate results
- Mixed data from Japan
By David Johnson
There was a barrage of news from Japan overnight. Retail sales were below expectations but industrial production was much better than expected. The Japanese Yen gained against most other currencies on the news.
UK growth data the big news today
Today’s big news for UK traders is the UK Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth data for the first three months of 2018. The markets forecast 1.4% growth in the economy; the same as Q4 2017, and there were rumours that the number could surpass that, which supported Sterling’s gains in late trade yesterday. The Pound started the day just shy of €1.15 and up against many other currencies. The actual GDP results were disappointing, showing 0.1% growth in the last quarter, the lowest for five years.
We will also get a speech from the Governor of the Bank of England today, so there is a good chance the Pound will be undermined and weaken. You have been warned...
US Dollar boosted by jobs data and business results
Sterling lost ground against the US Dollar, though. That exchange rate is down below $1.39 and the USD has pushed the Euro down below $1.21 as well. USD strength will have been boosted by surprising strong Facebook and AMD results. Shares in young Mr Zuckerberg’s company jumped 9.1% on the news. A fall in fresh jobless claims will also have helped the USD ahead of today’s Q1 GDP growth data. That’s an interesting development because the forecasts for US economic growth are for a fall to 2.0% in Q1, down from the 2.9% rate in Q4. That, logically, should weaken the US Dollar but we will see the actual reaction after lunch.
World peace in our grasp?
And Kim Jong Un is the first North Korean Leader to visit South Korea in 65 years. Beauty pageant contestants are a step closer to their universal desire for ‘World Peace’ and that is great. I am not in any way wishing to be churlish about this giant step for mankind, but does anyone else think the nuclear testing must have flopped? Maybe it’s just me…